National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

13 October 2020

Young Farmers’ Clubs face a funding crisis due to Covid-19, and for the first time in its 89-year history the organisation has launched a national fundraising campaign to help secure its future.

The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) estimates that County Federations have lost nearly £700,000 in income since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 and the total loss for the organisation now stands at around £1m.

There are concerns that some County Federations will not be able to weather the Covid storm and smaller clubs face an uncertain future. The national office is urgently looking for ways to support counties who are struggling to survive on even tighter budgets than before lockdown and reduced staff resource.

A year-long programme of fundraising is underway – with the first campaign beginning in October for National Young Farmers’ Week. Every County is being challenged to take part in the Give it Some YFC Welly Relay where YFC members will be asked to travel the distance between the clubs in their county and then pass a virtual welly on to another county federation.

NFYFC will start two virtual wellies off in Cornwall and Northumberland on 26 October 2020. Counties will then need to nominate others on social media to take part until all 46 County Federations have received a ‘welly’, travelled the distance and fundraised for their cause.

NFYFC President and world-renowned rugby referee Nigel Owens said:

“Young Farmers’ Clubs are incredibly important in rural areas – helping young people make social connections, learn new skills and support their rural communities. We must do all we can to ensure this vital youth service can continue and I’m encouraging every YFC to back their County Federation and Give it Some YFC Welly!”

Lockdown restrictions forced clubs to stop physical club meetings and competitions in March this year – a situation that has not happened since the Foot & Mouth outbreak in 2001.

During the lockdown, NFYFC launched YFC at Home to support clubs to move their activities online but the usual income from rallies, competitions and fundraising events was lost. A drop in membership numbers because activities were unable to resume also impacted on the usual income for counties, clubs and the national office.

While clubs are now able to meet again under National Youth Agency guidance (15 club members and two leaders), the ongoing restrictions and uncertainty mean the YFC programme has been adapted for 2020-21.

NFYFC Chairman Dewi Parry said: “Covid-19 has taken away so much from our lives, and rural young people who live in remote locations have been forced into even greater levels of isolation by the ongoing restrictions. It’s so good for YFCs to be meeting again but it’s going to be a long road to complete recovery where we’re all competing in large groups and enjoying time together again. Please get behind the Give it Some YFC Welly Relay and support your local county federation.”

Anyone interested in supporting a County Federation’s campaign can visit the JustGiving page to see those taking part, where you can also make donations to the NFYFC campaign.

The Give it Some YFC Welly Relay kicks off on 26 October 2020. 


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